What is a mission statement and why is it important to your practice?
A mission statement is a written declaration of an organization's core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time. Business studies, such as this 2001 study, show that those organizations with mission and vision statements, mantras, and guiding principles outperform those companies that forego the exercises.
In the study linked above, the authors concluded that of all the variables that went into a business' success, having a mission statement had the most direct relationship with financial performance.
Your practice's mission statement should answer the following questions:
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Whom do you do it for?
- What value do you bring?
Your mission statement should have three main components:
- The purpose
- The business
- The values
The purpose states the needs that the business addresses or solves. This part of the mission statement answers questions such as the following: Why does your organization exist? What is the ultimate result of your work? This component includes a verb that indicates change and an identification of the problem or condition to be changed.
The second part of the mission statement is the business. This describes the work of the organization and how the organization is going to accomplish its purpose.
The third component is the values. This outlines principles and beliefs that guide the work. What are the core beliefs of the organization? What guides each member through his or her work?
Try to keep your mission statement short (one to two sentences) and free of jargon. The best mission statements are written at an eighth-grade level in the present tense.
As this statement is outlining the pragmatics of your business, it needs to be easily articulated and executed by everyone in your practice. Also, it is a good idea to revisit your statement every year to see if changes are needed.
It wouldn't be fair if I didn't share my organization's mission statement:
"JB Partners is committed to reducing stress of private-practice owners (our purpose) through intuitive and powerful (values) programming, one-to-one coaching, and comprehensive (business) consulting so each client reaches their full potential and lives their best life every day (values)."
Incorporating your mission statement
How do you make your mission statement a living document? Start by reading it at every huddle and ask your team how they can do one thing to support your mission today. It should also be front and center on your website and posted as a window sign. Don't neglect your patients in this process. Talk about your mission to them and ask for their support.
Then live your values. If it's family, have lots of family photos around. If it's appreciation tell people daily how you appreciate them. If it's honesty, be sure to be honest at all times, even if it hurts.
Jen Butler, MEd, is the CEO and founder of JB Partners and has been working in the area of stress management and resiliency training for more than 25 years. Learn about her services at www.jenbutlerpartners.com, or contact her at jen@JenButlerPartners.com.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.